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Credit card debt and divorce: Some do's and dont's

When you decide to divorce, it's natural to think long and hard about the property division process. This may lead you to create a property division checklist, make note of what's separate and what's marital property and keep an eye out for hidden assets.

As you do all this, you should also focus on any credit card debt that you have with your spouse. This may not be as interesting to you as dividing assets, but it's still a big part of the divorce process.

Here are some points of consideration that can help ease some of your stress:

  • Pay off joint credit card debt together: Once you decide to divorce, you could use money in your savings (if available) to eliminate any joint credit card debt that you're carrying. This gets rid of one more thing for you to worry about.
  • Transfer debt to separate credit cards: If you don't have the money to eliminate joint credit card debt completely, transfer it to separate cards. By doing this, you are both now individually responsible for your portion of the debt. You don't have to concern yourself with what the other person is doing.
  • Cancel all joint credit cards: Once you pay off or transfer joint debt, cancel the credit cards to ensure that they're not used again. You don't want to leave these open, as the other person could use the card in an attempt to leave you on the hook for half.
  • Keep records of your spending: The other person could use a joint credit card and then blame the purchase on you. Protect against this by keeping detailed records of every purchase you make.
  • Consider bankruptcy: When you file for bankruptcy together, you have the opportunity to eliminate some of your joint debt, including credit cards.

Divorce will bring forth many challenges pertaining to property and debt division. There will be times when you're unsure of the decisions you're making. There will also be times when you wonder how the divorce process will impact your future.

With the right approach to credit card debt in divorce, you can remove this from the equation as to give yourself one less thing to worry about. As long as you know your options, you can make the decision that best suits you.

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